How To Sell on Etsy Successfully—While Maintaining Your Independence

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Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. With more than five million sellers serving nearly 90 million active buyers it has the potential to turn a side hustle into a full-time business.

It serves as a venue for small company owners to connect with their ideal clients. Millions of visitors browse the market with credit cards in hand, prepared to purchase homemade goods, artwork, and jewellery.

But where do you begin? Learn from founders and small-business entrepreneurs who have made the transition from running an Etsy storefront to becoming a full-time business owner about the process.

How to sell on Etsy—a quick-start guide

  1. Determine if Etsy is right for you
  2. If Etsy is right for your small business, create an account
  3. Open your Etsy storefront
  4. Upload products
  5. Choose how you’ll get paid
  6. Set up billing
  7. Customize your storefront

1. Determine if Etsy is right for you

Long before selecting the “Start selling” button on Etsy’s homepage, the first step in starting an Etsy shop is taken. Consider carefully whether Etsy is the best online store for your small business.

Similar to Amazon or eBay, certain things on Etsy’s marketplace sell more quickly than others. Because customers choose things in the home and living, art, and jewellery categories the most, the sales channel is well-liked by makers and others who offer handcrafted goods.

Similar to Amazon, Etsy is more well-known in some nations than others, while having buyers (and sellers) from all over the world. 11% of Etsy merchants are located in Canada, and 30% are located in the UK. The roster also includes other European nations like Germany, France, and Italy. However, if your target market is located outside of those most well-liked areas, it might not be the optimal location for your company.

2. If Etsy is right for your small business, create an account

Create a free account on Etsy once you’ve decided it’s the ideal platform for your small business. Click Get started on the website. To establish an account, enter some basic personal data such your first name and email address.

3. Open your Etsy storefront

Use your newly created account to launch your Etsy store. The first step is to enter your store settings, which should include the language you’ll use to describe your products, the nation from which you’re selling, and the currency you’ll use to bill buyers.

Next, enter your shop name. This can be a combination of letters and numbers without spaces.

Unsure of the name for yours? Use a business name generator to generate ideas. Select a name that is appropriate for the goods you’re selling and isn’t being used by another Etsy business owner.

4. Upload products

You can begin selling goods as soon as your new Etsy business has a store. For each item you’re selling on the marketplace, whether it’s vintage products, handcrafted items, or arts and crafts supplies, make a new listing.

The images you use to sell the item are, in all likelihood, the most crucial component of each Etsy listing. The majority of online shoppers make visual decisions. They are unable to feel, smell, or physically view the item. Their choice to purchase your Etsy items depends on the quality of the product photography.

Each entry can have up to 10 high-quality photographs or a single video added. Each must be distinctive enough to stand out from goods being offered by other marketplace sellers.

Scroll down and you’ll see an option to add more information about the product you’re listing. This includes:

  • A product title
  • Information about the listing, including who made it and when
  • The category it slots into
  • The listing type (more on this later)
  • Whether it’s a physical or digital product
  • A product description containing your unique selling point (USPs)

When optimising an Etsy listing, keep in mind the best practices for search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind that a search engine that links consumers and vendors is the foundation of the marketplace. Include keywords in your Etsy listing to make sure you are found by potential customers on the results page.

Under the Inventory and Pricing area, set the price for your product. Enter the price, quantity, and SKU for the item as well as how many you have available (if you use them). At this point, you can also include variations, like products in a different size or colour.

The last step is to upload the shipping details customers will require in order to purchase your product from your Etsy store. Indicate the location from which the item will be shipped as well as your typical processing time, or the amount of time it normally takes you to pick, pack, and send an item after receiving an order confirmation.

Decide whether to provide delivery improvements or fixed postal rates. You should include a tariff number for customs if you are shipping goods to international clients.

It’s recommended that you upload at least 10 listings when you first launch your Etsy store as a new seller. Before publishing, make sure to preview every listing. When potential customers first examine your products, you don’t want them to encounter a subpar listing.

5. Choose how you’ll get paid

Happy with your inventory? On the next page, you’ll be asked to choose how you want to get paid. 

Choose whether you’re a sole proprietor or a legally constituted corporation. After that, input your personal data, such as your name and address. Enter the information for the bank account where you wish to receive your Etsy revenue before finishing.

6. Set up billing

While creating an account and making purchases on Etsy are free, selling requires payment. You will be prompted to select a payment option after providing the details regarding how you would like to receive payments. You’ll pay in this way to open your storefront and post your listing.

7. Customize your Etsy storefront

Customizing your new storefront—the information prospective consumers will see when visiting your business profile—is the last step in starting an Etsy shop. How to do it:

  • Upload a profile and banner photo. Put yourself, your products, or your business’s logo at the front and centre of your Etsy store.
  • Create a user profile. Put a face to the goods you’re selling on the marketplace by introducing yourself as the shop manager. Give potential clients reassurance that there is a live person behind the screen.
  • Tell people about your new store.Do you sell anything? Why? How did your shop get started? Describe yourself briefly and explain why people should buy your stuff when they visit your new Etsy business.
  • Upload your shop policies.The tedious but necessary topics of delivery, payment methods, refunds, exchanges, and privacy policies. To avoid any misunderstandings with Etsy buyers, be explicit about the conditions of purchasing from your store right away.

JewelleryGBShop’s Etsy storefront has a custom profile photo, banner, and featured items banner to impress visitors.

The costs of selling on Etsy

Etsy is an excellent location to sell because there are no upfront costs involved, and there are only fees when a sale is made. The biggest drawback of Etsy, according to Claire Westbrook, founder of Trendy Journals, “is the multiple fees, including listing fees, sales and tax fees, and transaction fees. Typically, Etsy fees amount to close to a third of the product’s sales.”

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest.

Listing fees

The most common Etsy fee is the listing fee. Regardless of whether a listing generates a sale or not, sellers are charged 20 for each new listing they add to their store.

Listings appear on Etsy’s marketplace by default for a period of four months (or until the item has been sold). You will be charged the same 20 cents when the four months are up if auto-renew is toggled on in the listing information.

Transaction fees

Listings appear on Etsy’s marketplace by default for a period of four months (or until the item has been sold). You will be charged the same 20 cents when the four months are up if auto-renew is toggled on in the listing information.

Additionally, regulatory running fees (varying from 0.25% to 1.1%) are owed by sellers in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey for each listing. It is based on the overall revenue, which includes the cost of the product and any shipping costs the customer was charged.

  • United Kingdom: 0.25%
  • France: 0.4%
  • Italy: 0.25%
  • Spain: 0.4%
  • Turkey: 1.1%

Payment processing fees

Throughout the process of setting up your Etsy store, you’ll have entered your bank information.

A range of different payment methods, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Klarna, are available to customers through Etsy Payments, which store owners can also choose to participate in. By enabling Etsy Payments, you agree to pay its processing costs.

Before their Etsy sales are deposited in their bank accounts, sellers in some nations, such as Mexico, the Philippines, and South Africa, must additionally reach minimum payment thresholds.

Currency conversion fees

All transactions on Etsy are made in US dollars. Despite the fact that you can sell goods in other currencies, all fees for using Etsy will be billed in USD. Prior to transfer, the market will exchange your funds into the currency of your bank account, but take aware that this exchange rate may not always reflect market value.

Etsy may also take a 2.5% currency conversion fee when you’re doing business using a currency other than USD.

Offsite Ads fees

Even if you may have a flawlessly optimised product listing that appears in the Etsy search engine, the marketplace is aware that occasionally, shoppers may desire to further the cause of client acquisition. Through advertising, it enables merchants to do that.

Sellers have the option to participate in Offsite Ads, which display their products on Etsy’s own marketing and promotional channels. Without having to manage their own advertising accounts, business owners can have their products appear in Etsy’s Facebook, Google, and display advertisements.

But there is a price for this. When a seller’s item sells through an Offsite Ad, they get charged. 15% of the order amount will be deducted as payment for their Offsite Ad program if your storefront generated less than $10,000 in revenue from the marketplace over the course of the previous year. Once you reach $10,000, your Offsite Ads cost is reduced to 12%. In either case, Etsy guarantees that the cost of your Offsite Ad will never go over $100 per item.

Etsy shipping costs

In select regions where Etsy Payments or PayPal are accepted, sellers can buy shipping labels through the marketplace, and payments are deducted directly from their accounts. The carrier, the places of origin and destination, and the dimensions of each parcel all affect the prices. For signature confirmation and insurance, extra charges apply.

Etsy Plus

The option to join Etsy Plus is available to all Etsy sellers. With additional benefits for merchants who want to pay the $10 monthly fee, its subscription package guarantees to help sellers “take their shop to the next level.”

Etsy Plus sellers are immediately gifted 15 listing credits and $5 in Etsy ads credit. They also get added features like:

  • Customizable shop options
  • Discounts on custom domain names
  • The ability to email shoppers when an item is back in stock
How To Sell on Etsy